Bobby Valentine dishes on the 2012 Red Sox, to dress up like an elf next month

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Bobby Valentine spoke at Salem State University last night as part of a speaker’s series. Peter Gammons was the moderator and audience questions were taken.  Some highlights from CSNNewEngland.com:

  • The front office wanted “a quieter, calmer” version of Bobby Valentine during the season, so he was told to tone down his usually effusive comments to the press;
  • He’s happy about his future and thinks it is bright. “I have a million plans, running around the country, trying to make my life worthwhile,” he said. Most immediate plan: “In December, he will rappel down the side of the tallest building in his hometown of Stamford, Conn., as a charitable fundraiser.  He will be dressed as an elf.”  Brian Cashman has done this several times, actually. It’s for a good cause.
  • He doesn’t think the 2012 Red Sox should be defined by their record and believes that “the team is going to be better because of all the nonsense this year.”
  • Takes a swipe at Kelly Shoppach, who he said was always begging for playing time and the front office, whose attitude and leaks he criticizes, and Daniel Bard. Also, when asked by an audience member what it was like to watch Daniel Bard “slowly implode,” Valentine said “you you thought that was slow?”

Someone should probably hire him now. Not my team or the team of anyone I care about, but someone.

Report: Rays sign Brandon Lowe to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.

Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.

MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.